The new issue of Director magazine is out now. Editor Chris Maxwell previews what’s inside the July/August edition, which is ready to download now to Android, iPad and mobile, and sent in print to IoD members
At the IoD’s recent Enterprising Women Summit it was fascinating to listen to Sophie Cornish, co-founder of Not on the High Street, field questions from TV presenter Juliet Morris. Asked what she would do for business if she were PM, Cornish was unequivocal. She noted that the UK’s small creative businesses contribute £3.6bn to the economy a year, according to research her firm has conducted with Oxford Economics, and that 1.5 million women in this country are self-employed – a 50 per cent increase over the past decade. These entrepreneurs are “big business and the government needs to take it more seriously”, Cornish argued, calling for policies to nurture “flexibility and the ability to define your own working agenda”. Childcare, for instance, “should be entirely tax-deductible”.
The potential of flexible working, fuelled by IT, to bring prosperity and future-proof the economy are explored in depth in this issue. Jamie Kerr, the IoD’s head of entrepreneurship and tech policy, and Séamus Nevin, its head of employment and skills policy, examine the profound changes the gig economy is bringing to the labour market. Meanwhile, for those who want to go it alone but would find a fully solo start-up impractical, there’s franchising, which now adds £15bn to the economy.
We also explore the work of the Welsh Innovation Centre for Enterprise – led by IoD 99 member Gareth Jones – to nurture the next generation of budding entrepreneurs. And then there are the organisations that are setting out to spawn whole new sectors on their own. Cambridge graduates Herman Narula and Rob Whitehead formed their tech business Improbable in 2012, building a platform that can harness the power of thousands of computers to create vast and highly complex virtual worlds. These environments, they envision, are the places where we may set up future businesses – a welcome stream of opportunity, they postulate, if artificial intelligence one day threatens our jobs in the real world. Something from sci-fi, or soon to become science fact? It’s certainly food for thought. Read their remarkable story so far and please share your feedback with us.
Have a great summer.
What’s inside this month’s Director magazine?
Become a member of the IoD
The IoD has a range of memberships for directors, founders and co-founders, providing all the resources and facilities needed to enhance your business. To find out more about membership offerings and to join today, visit iod.com/membership